Delhi

Auto, taxi strike to continue today, sit-in at CM’s house

Unions plan hunger strike in front of Kejriwal's residence; Transport Minister says protest is being managed by the BJP and only few drivers are participating

The Capital’s auto and taxi unions went on strike on Tuesday in what they warned was intended to be an indefinite protest against app-based taxi services like Ola and Uber.

They have accused the services of causing hardship to thousands of commuters.

Hunger strike

The striking unions said they were in no mood to return to work on Wednesday either with a sit-in hunger strike scheduled outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Civil Lines residence.

Even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government alleged it was “BJP-sponsored”, union representatives countered saying that the strike was triggered by the government’s “preferential treatment of cab companies such as Uber and Ola”.

Headache for commuters

Commuters complained of being stranded at railway stations, ISBTs, the airport and metro stations due to the strike called by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) — formed by 20 auto and taxis (yellow-black) unions, which saw 85,000 auto-rickshaws and 15,000 yellow-black taxis off the roads.

Rajendra Soni, member of the JAC, said the strike will continue till the government takes strict action against the “operations of Ola and Uber, which don’t have permits from the Transport Department to ply in the Capital”.

Around 10 members of the JAC will sit on a hunger strike outside Mr. Kejriwal’s official residence on Wednesday, he said, adding: “We will continue the agitation till the government decides to roll back the sale of its Transport Department to big companies.”

“The operations of Uber and Ola are illegal as they don’t have permits to run their taxis in Delhi, but despite that the government is allowing them to take away our livelihoods. The government has assured us on several occasions to take action against these services but so far they have not,” said Soni, whose unions — Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union and Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh — are backed by the RSS.

Kishan Verma, president of All Delhi Auto-Taxi Transport Congress Union (ADATTCU), said drivers of yellow-black taxis and auto-rickshaws have been asked not to ply their vehicles on Wednesday as well.

‘BJP-sponsored’

Delhi Transport Minister Satyendar Jain called the strike “BJP-sponsored” and said despite requesting the Lieutenant-Governor and the Delhi Police Commissioner, no appropriate arrangements were made to ensure commuters don’t face problem while using public transport.

“The strike has been managed by the BJP. It is BJP sponsored. The Transport Department wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner on Monday to deploy cops at bus stops, railway stations. There were mischief elements that prevented auto and taxi drivers from plying their vehicles,” he said, adding that “only two to four per cent of the auto rickshaw drivers are on strike”.

‘Drivers threatened’

Meanwhile, a senior government official said many auto drivers had called up to say they are being threatened.

“They are being told the roof cover of their autos will be cut if they ply,” he said.

‘Centre can ban apps’

A government spokesperson said banning the operations of app-based cab services do not come under the ambit of the city administration and instead the Centre should do something.

“The operations of Ola and Uber are illegal in Delhi as they don’t have permit from the Delhi Transport Department to ply their taxis. We have already written to the Centre to block server of Uber, but it said that it cannot do so as its main server is in USA,” the official added.

In view of the strike, the Delhi government deployed an additional 300 buses from ISBTs and railway stations.

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) also issued a toll free number (1800118181) for any kind of enquiry regarding DTC buses.



An estimated 85,000

auto-rickshaws and 15,000 yellow-black taxis were off the Capital’s roads



A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 29, 2020 12:14:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Auto-taxi-strike-to-continue-today-sit-in-at-CM%E2%80%99s-house/article14510028.ece

Next Story